What Makes Brandon Jennings Qualified for the Slam Dunk Contest?
Maybe you’re a big fan of the Slam Dunk Contest. Maybe you’re more like me and just can’t get excited about it. Last year’s contest lacked creativity and was pretty boring as a result. With Blake Griffin agreeing to participate in the 2011 Dunk Contest, expectations are high. Everyone is hoping Blake will use his freakish athleticism to come up with something new, and it certainly wouldn’t surprise us if he did. After all, he’s on his way to becoming one of the greatest dunkers of all-time.
Aside from Griffin, the other three contestants are Serge Ibaka of the Thunder, JaVale McGee of the Wizards, and Brandon Jennings of the Bucks. Ibaka and McGee make sense, but why Jennings? We’re a little over a third of the way through the NBA season, and here’s how many dunks each of the contestants have thrown down this year:
Griffin — 83
McGee — 57
Ibaka — 41
Jennings — 2
Thats right, two dunks for Jennings this season. If you go to YouTube and type in “Brandon Jennings dunk,” you’ll find a few videos of him in high school and a couple others where he leads a fast break that results in a dunk. The picture above was about the only one I could find of Jennings dunking in a Bucks uniform. Despite his limited history of throwing it down, Jennings is the second favorite to win the competition on Bodog.com at 5/1 odds (Griffin is the favorite at 1/2).
The need for creativity is probably what led to Jennings being chosen for the contest. At 6-foot-1, he’ll have to come up with some serious props in order to give himself a shot to win. Nate Robinson, who stands at 5-foot-9, dunked over Dwight Howard to win the competition in 2009 and involved the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders to repeat as champion in 2010.
The NBA has it’s high-flying, thunderous dunker in Blake Griffin, so bringing Jennings on board is probably a way to make the competition more fun and creative. If nothing else, it should be interesting to see what Jennings comes up with.